Direct Anterior Hip Replacement: A Better Approach to Hip Replacement

Posted on

Nov 18, 2020

In 2020 there are several approaches to hip replacement. Some surgeons approach the hip from the back (posterior of the hip while others approach it from the side (lateral) or the front (anterior). While all approaches to hip replacement have good outcomes there are some distinct advantages to a direct anterior approach.
1) No muscles are cut
The surgeon can get to the joint without cutting through muscles which leads to less pain after surgery and a quicker recovery. There is also less chance of long term limping because the muscles are preserved,
2) Recovery is faster and there are fewer post-operative restrictions
Because no muscles are cut, return to doing the things that you want to do is quicker. Patients who have an anterior hip replacement are able to return to activities much quicker than those with a posterior procedure.
Because no muscles are cut, the hip is more stable and risk of dislocation is less. This means that after surgery you will have few to no post-operative restrictions.
3) Leg length differences are minimized
In the anterior approach, the patient is lying on their back enabling the surgeon to x-ray both hips. This allows your surgeon to reproduce equal leg lengths and position of the hip precisely.
4) Anterior replacement is more complex with fewer skilled surgeons
There is a distinct learning curve. It is important that your provider is not only a good orthopedic surgeon, but more imperative, that your surgeon is an expert at anterior hip replacement. You should ask how many he/she does the surgery per year, and for how long he/she has been doing the surgery.
Because of the many benefits of the anterior approach it is the right surgery for most but not all patients. Be sure to ask your surgeon the best option for you.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Jason Weisstein, MD. Dr. Weisstein isa Total Joint Physician with Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, a Southern division of OCC. You may call to schedule a consultation at 719-623-1050, or you may check out our web site at www.ccoe.us

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